Thursday's Thought for Sunday's Service
October 19, 2017
This week’s Thursday’s Thought for Sunday’s Service is based upon 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10:
“Paul, Silas and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you. We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.” (1 Thessalonians 1:1–10, NIV)
What does faith mean? Does it have any impact in life? Can we see its value?
Within this letter of encouragement that Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica, he points to the example of Jesus as their source of hope and power. This power comes via the Holy Spirit. It sustains and guides, even when facing great suffering. It inspires courage, giving witness to God in a far-reaching way.
Like the Thessalonians, we labor in faith, being prompted by God’s calling. Within our deep conviction, God’s power is expressed, even when there are few answers. In the times of great exhaustion, when we come to the end of ourselves, the saving nature of God through Christ’s example is more clearly revealed, and remains.
After having repeatedly given you every excuse,
and when all my possibilities have run out,
I get tired.
How many times have I tried to shut you out.
Yet, your love is always shining.
Why do you love me so? I don't understand.
You love at any cost, even when it hurts.
You seem so vulnerable, and yet very strong ...
It moves me.
Rev. Richard Wagner